Commission Opportunity for Artists
‘A Nice Cup of Tea’ at the Ashmolean Museum
Are you interested in challenging a display at the Ashmolean Museum?
Are you interested in the history of transatlantic slavery, colonial exploitation and their contemporary relevance?
Would you like your work in the Ashmolean Museum?
As part of Generation Windrush, a city-wide commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Empire Windrush’s arrival in London (1948), the Ashmolean Museum invites artists to submit their interest to work with the Nice Cup of Tea project team and local people to create a piece of work or an intervention in the Marshall porcelain gallery. Intrinsic to this work is the link between porcelain, tea and sugar – the product of exploitation and slavery, and the vast wealth produced, including for Oxford institutions. The gallery houses over 1000 porcelain pieces including a glass case currently set out like a tea-table from the 18th century. The artistic work or intervention will be in (and possibly around) this case. The work can be 2D or 3D, using materials approved by the Museum and needs to be both accessible and relevant to children and adults.
The artist will be supported by a small team of community ambassadors, museum curators and historians throughout the commission. A photographer has been commissioned to support the project.
The artist must be available to attend project workshops at the museum on 29 November to meet local people, who have been invited to respond to the current display. There is a second workshop which the artist is also welcome to join on 5 December. The artist would listen and incorporate their thoughts about an intervention in the gallery to make it more relevant.
The piece will need to be developed by mid-January 2019 for processing and installation by the museum. The work will be on display to the public from May 2019, for six months.
Euton Daley – performance poet and activist at Tea Party launch (Photo – Fran Monks)
How to Apply
Please email Nicola Bird by Friday 9 November with your expression of interest including initial ideas and materials, your approach of working with local people (300 words max) and include example of your work (images or links to websites). Feel free to call Nicola Bird on 01865 282456 for more information. Nicola.Bird@museums.ox.ac.uk
Cups donated by the community to the Nice Cup of Tea project.
About the Commission
The fee available is £360 with up to £250 additional funds for materials / display objects. Other materials such as cups donated by the community will be available from the Project Team.
This fee includes:
• 2 visits to the Ashmolean to attend project workshops (29 Nov & 5 Dec 2018)
• Creation of a piece of work / intervention inspired by and in response to the project
• Working with the Project Team to ensure that the new installation is accessible to a wide audience, with a brief explanation of the piece, appropriate labels etc.
The artist can expect:
• Access to behind-the-scenes to museum collections and specialist staff
• Support from museum staff and the Nice Cup of Tea Project Team to plan, design and install the commission.
• An anticipated audience of 250,000 over the course of the six months display
• Promotion through the museum and other Oxford institutions’ marketing and online media
• To be part of a project bringing meaningful change to the oldest dedicated Museum in Britain.
What is the ‘Nice Cup of Tea’ project?
The ‘Nice Cup of Tea’ project aims to highlight how, through the simple everyday act of drinking a cup of tea, we are all linked to the history of Empire, trade and transatlantic slavery. For more details about the 5 inter-woven strands of the project, visit
Who is running the Nice Cup of Tea Project?
The project team includes:
• Myfanwy Lloyd and Angeli Vaid of Oxford Arts Consultants (heritage consultants)
• Amantha Edmead and Taiwo Oyebola (Community Ambassadors)
• Nicola Bird (Community Engagement Officer for Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museums)
• Matthew Winterbottom (Ashmolean Curator)
• Jo Rice (Ashmolean Head of Learning)
• Fran Monks (photographer)
See Appendix (below) for website details.
• Consideration must be given to any additional Health and Safety and access issues involved in working in a public space with a designated collection of international importance.
• Applicants must be based in the UK and be aged 18 or over.
• Applicants must have public liability insurance up to the value of £5m. (Please let us know if we can help with Public Liability).
Appendix: List of partners for A Nice Cup of Tea
ACKHI – African Caribbean Kultural Heritage Initiative, Founder and Director Junie James, https://ackhi.org/ (Oxford Windrush Planning Group – Chair)
Ashmolean Museum – Matthew Winterbottom, Curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts - https://www.ashmolean.org/people/matthew...
Ashmolean Museum – Jo Rice, Head of Education, https://www.ashmolean.org/
Amantha Edmead – Kuumba Nia Arts http://www.kuumbaniaarts.com/ (Oxford Windrush Planning Group – Member)
Elisabeth Grass – Oxford University Doctoral student, https://www.history.ox.ac.uk/people/elis...
Euton Daley M.B.E. – http://www.eutondaley.com/ (Oxford Windrush Planning Group – Member, representing Oxford City Council)
Fran Monks – Photographer. http://franmonks.com/
Mimi Goodall – Oxford University Doctoral student, https://www.history.ox.ac.uk/people/mimi...
Museum of Oxford, Oxford City Council – Kate Toomey, Museum and Heritage Community Learning Officer, https://www.oxford.gov.uk/museumofoxford (Oxford Windrush Planning Group – Member)
Myfanwy Lloyd – Associate Member, Oxford University History Faculty, and sessional tutor, Department of Continuing Education. Associate, Oxford Arts Consultants. (Oxford Windrush Planning Group – Member)
Nicola Bird, Community Engagement Officer, Oxford University Museums Community Engagement Team, http://www.museums.ox.ac.uk/community-ou... (Oxford Windrush Planning Group – Member)
Oliver Cox – Heritage Engagement Fellow, University of Oxford, http://torch.ox.ac.uk/oliver-cox
Oxford University History Faculty Race Equality Working Group, https://www.history.ox.ac.uk/equality-an...
Oxford Windrush Planning Group – hosted by Oxford City Council
Pitt Rivers Museum – Jozie Kettle, Public Engagement with Research Officer, and Beth McDougall, Families and Communities Officer, https://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/ (Oxford Windrush Planning Group – Member)
Taiwo Oyebola, Community Ambassador, Oxford University Student and former President of the African-Caribbean Society. https://oxfordacs.com/team/taiwo-oyebola/
The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH) – https://torch.ox.ac.uk/
Angeli Vaid – Director, Oxford Arts Consultants, https://www.oxfordartsconsultants.co.uk/ (Oxford Windrush Planning Group – Member)